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Exchange 2010 backup - backing up the database twice

Posted on 2014-01-21
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Last Modified: 2014-01-22
I have a 2010 exchange server that is currently being backed up to tape each night using Backup Exec.

This is being phased out and we are going to be backing up to an offsite location. The agent is installed on the server and test jobs have been run. However the databases are quite big and we are having trouble getting consistent backups offsite even after seeding the backups.

While we continue to test this we want to make sure we have a good backup. If I backup Exchange at 10pm using backup exec it will truncate the logs as usual.

If I then test the offsite backup by backing it up a second time that night it will also truncate the logs. Will this cause issues if I have a failure and need to restore from tape?

 If this goes on for several days will I have a bunch of useless backups on my hands?

Thanks for any info
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Question by:AJNS
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Enphyniti earned 400 total points
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No.  Logs are truncated because you have a good backup.

IE:  Your BUE backup contains everything you need to restore to the point it was created.  Exchange then begins logging from that point forward.  Your second backup truncates the logs because it has everything it needs to restore to that exact point.

Logs are only there to roll forward from a good backup.

Just make sure that you're keeping both sets of backups.

If you're not getting good offsite backups, then just remove the option to truncate logs.  Otherwise you won't be able to roll forward from your last BUE backup and data loss will happen.
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by:SelfGovern
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Not answering your question, but asking a couple of questions that may help you architect a better solution...

What exactly are you backing up to?  Is the new backup also using BE?

Have you considered doing a local backup to disk and then replicating that to the remote location?  This would give you a second copy, which is always a good thing.  It will also help you get *a* backup when otherwise something might have failed in the direct to remote backup.

What many people do is back up to a backup appliance that performs deduplication and can then replicate changes only to a second, remote appliance.  This is a very powerful solution and highly likely to give you recoverability even in the case of a site-wide disaster (flood, earthquake, fire).

What need might you have down the road to restore from a year ago, or a few years ago?  If this might be a requirement, understand that disk is a poor way to store long-term backups.  If you keep the disks online, it's very expensive in terms of electricity and data center space; if you pull the disks off power, they're not guaranteed to keep the data readable for any length of time -- versus tape that manufacturers publish as being readable for 20 or 30 years (and we've seen cases of longer).

Using the backup appliance, you back up to the appliance, replicate to the second one, and then use the backup application to create a physical tape copy of the full backups you'll want to archive.

Two examples of these appliances: HP StoreOnce (http://www.hp.com/go/storeonce)
or EMC's Data Domain (www.emc.com/domains/datadomain/index.htm)
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by:AJNS
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Enphyniti - thanks for the info on the logs. I figured as much but wanted some assurance the second backup was not going to make the first invalid.

SelfGovern - good information and good points, thank you. We are just testing some solutions to see how they work over our links. They include a local device that will then be replicating off site as well as solutions that backup directly offsite as in this case.
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